, Aurora

, Colorado

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-20 16:31:17
“I’m a 20 year Airline Pilot and flying RC airplanes when I was a young teen in the late 80s is what drove me into this great profession I’m in now. RC airplanes taught me mechanics, electronics, internal combustion engines. aerodynamics, along with responsibility. One of my fondest memories when I was kid was grabbing my airplane and heading to a little flying field in the middle of Iowa surrounded by corn fields. The freedom to do this was exhilarating along with the peace and quiet. I quit flying RC airplanes when I was in college and got back into flying aerobatic RC helicopters and airplanes when my kids got older. When I started back up, I had a small RC helicopter that I flew at in a park next to my house since I didn’t have the time to head to a sanctioned flying field. I learned how to hover and basic forward flight. The proposed rules would have prevented me in doing this. I am very concerned about the proposed rules damaging recreational RC pilots to the point of no return. Our hobby is already struggling due to the fact that kids aren’t getting into it like it was 10-20 years ago due to screen time. Adding more rules, regulations, and tracking will make it cumbersome and not fun for our youth or even adults. This will cripple the hobby and the manufacturers. I know of 5 RC pilots who have got out of the hobby already because of having to register their aircraft with the FAA and the altitude restrictions. We don’t want to go fly our RC aircraft if we are bombarded with rules, fees, and tracking devices. Personally, I think the damage has already been done when drones/quadcopters started being sold at Walmarts and Best Buys. Uneducated people purchased these aircraft without any knowledge or guidance on how they should operate them. These are the people getting into trouble, not me. I don’t consider these people as being in my hobby and I’m offended we are being included. My suggestions are: 1- Keep the registration to 1 number for all our personal aircraft just like it is now. 2- Keep the 400 ft altitude limit. Allow relief to this altitude limit if a sanctioned club applies for it. Many Large RC aircraft, gliders, and competitions need relief to the 400 ft rule. 3- Allow us to fly line of sight at any field if its sanctioned or not. 4- RF Tracking of recreational RC aircraft should not be considered. 5- RF Tracking for fully autonomous aircraft not at a sanctioned field should be considered. 6- RF Tracking for non line of sight aircraft should be considered. 7- Make people join the American Aeromodelers Association before they can purchase any RC Aircraft. The AMA can then administer a short knowledge test in order to join. 8- Allow any field to register as a FRIA at any time with no expiration. I know of 3 sanctioned fields in my area that have moved due to urban development, or losing a lease with the land board.”